This week I took a pretty big step in my adult life. After booking two national commercials in the past few months, I decided to transition from living in a small apartment to a large house in the Valley! After I inked my signature on the lease and underwent a mild panic attack, I drove home on the 101 with the windows down while blasting the best songs to accompany the feeling that I was a real live “adult.”
Since Los Angeles is a town where so many make careers out of playing make believe and no one seems to be really grown up, here are my top five favorite tracks for those days when you feel like an adult!
5) John Mayer – “No Such Thing”
John Mayer’s breakout hit was an anthem for recent high school grads (“I wanna run through the halls of my high school”) and jaded adults alike (“There’s no such thing as the real world, just a lie you have to rise above”). Add in his expert guitar work and dreamy falsetto, and this track is the radio-friendly soundtrack to the beginning of adult cynicism.
4) Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
I cannot get enough of this high-energy track from Paramore that asks the seemingly rhetorical question, “Ain’t it fun living in the real world?” It’s been on repeat for days, and every time the gospel choir comes in, I throw up my hands and sing along, “Don’t go crying to your momma ’cause you’re on your own in the real world.” It’s hands down the most dance-friendly tune on this list of grown-up tracks, so blast this when you’re having a dance party in honor of paying your bills without the support of your mom and dad!
3) The Ataris – “In This Diary”
The Ataris’ So Long, Astoria album was made for the rocky years between adolescence and adulthood, and almost every track highlights the fun and fragile days of youth. The stand-out song, “In This Diary,” however, was written for the generation of lost adults. Kristopher Roe perfectly summarizes what we all realize once we hit adulthood: “Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up. These are the best days of our lives.”
2) Ben Folds – “Still Fighting It”
Ben Folds is the master of emo piano rock, and “Still Fighting It” is one of the most beloved post-high school tracks. Despite everyone’s relentless struggle against growing up, the inevitable transition from teen to adult happens to all of us, whether we’re ready or not. The music video features the artist with his young son and shows that not only did Folds have to grow up, someday he’ll have to help his son do the same. Circle of life.
1) Blink-182 – “Dammit (Growing Up)”
How could any other song take the top spot in my list of tracks about becoming an adult? Blink-182 was nearly every teenage boy’s favorite band in the nineties (and some even today), and many of their songs focused on the struggles of growing up and facing responsibility despite wanting to stay young and carefree. To sum it up succinctly, “Well, I guess this is growing up.”